Song Review: Riize – Talk Saxy

Riize’s Get A Guitar has proven to be a huge sleeper hit for me, alongside their very solid pre-debut track Memories. This one-two punch shot anticipation sky high for their follow-up, so when I saw the silly punnery of “Talk Saxy” coupled with the tease of an irritating Jason Derulo style sax loop, I couldn’t help but worry how SM Entertainment planned on charting Riize’s musical path. Though gimmicks are used often in pop music, they’re rarely an ingredient of enduring success.

I could easily divide Talk Saxy into parts I enjoy and parts I dislike. We’ll start with the bad, because the screechy loop that opens the track is way too prevalent throughout. Brass can be a great asset in K-pop, but I’ve never found this strangled sound pleasant. Even worse, it goes on to join forces with an equally grating “rum pum pum” vocal hook. Can we just ban “rum pum pums” from K-pop? The phrase has already been mastered. There’s no need to wear it into the ground!

Talk Saxy is at its best when following a groovier r&b template. Immediately after its “rum pum pum” lowlight, the guys deliver a series of engaging vocals. That sax is omnipresent underneath but their smooth deliver offers a welcome counterpoint. I also enjoy the snap of the percussion. Talk Saxy isn’t nearly as upbeat as their past tracks, but its steady rhythm feels confident. Ironically (given its title), the song’s most effective instrumental flourish is guitar. That funk element, paired with some standout vocals during the climax, salvages the song. However, this is a definite downgrade compared to their debut.






Grade: C+

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